By: Pieter Spinder, Founder Knowmads
We shape the world through the paradigms we use to describe it. Only when we observe with new consciousness can we find different answers and fresh solutions to problems. Columbus couldn’t go and discover the Americas until he could believe the earth was round—and was willing to bet his life on it. On today’s earth, we see huge ecological, financial, social, and economic transformations taking place. We believe the current system of education does not educate young people in a way that would help them take on the challenges they face. To educate young people in the old, industrial way (that is, with learning factories that talk about students as output targets) only prepares them to work in “old” industrial jobs. The output targets our current system turns out grow up to bust banks, pollute oceans, and support sweatshops. As Albert Einstein once commented,
“You can’t change the world with the same kind of consciousness that created most of those challenges in the first place.”
Educations should offer more than framed professional knowledge. They should also train awareness of the global context in which these professionals will operate and give them the capabilities to do so. Consider, for example, how many art and design institutions teach the craft brilliantly and then forget to offer the students the entrepreneurial skills they need to get a job.
Why work with case studies in books? Why not work with real challenges, in real-life assignments with real companies, NGOs, and government institutions? “Knowing about” is different from “being able to” and “having experience with.”
We designed our school in 2009 around a set of core values and beliefs:
• We need to develop global awareness in our students.
• We want to help students to discover their personal passions and how to address them. Everyone has a talent that can be at the core of his or her professional life. Encouraging that talent may require a different approach for each person.
• We believe “action” learning within the real world is the most integrated and the strongest form of learning.
• We believe entrepreneurship is about training people to come up with their own ideas and answers. The risk of failure should be embraced and accepted.
• Learning together as a team makes far stronger learning than competitive individual education.
Over the years we have designed and facilitated programs for our Tribes of students at our Head Quarters in Amsterdam, our location in Hanoi, Vietnam, and for educational partners in the Netherlands and Europe.
Read more about our current 6 month program here